I find myself repeating the same phrase over and over each day and it's starting weigh heavily on me. Whether it be by text, under my breath, or with a half-hearted smile on my face I likely say, "I'll take care of it" at least two dozen times per day. If you are a spouse, parent, employee, volunteer -- you name it, you likely find yourself saying this, too.
Kids need lunches, permission slips, and money for...everything. They grow out of their clothes and their sports equipment. The requests for help are neverending and I find myself responding immediately with, "I'll take care of it." It's daunting, I can't stop the activities from being scheduled or their feet from growing.
Then, there are bigger things like unplanned expenses and home repairs. Someone has to schedule, wait for the repair man, and pay the bill. Sometimes the bill can't be paid until someone figures out where the money is going to come from. Someone has to go to work to make the money to pay the bill. It often feels like there's a tidal wave cresting over the top of my house ready to break.
Some will give me the pat response, "You can't control everything and you need to say 'no' more. Delegate. Tell your kids 'no'. Let some stuff slide." Well that's ok for a few things like baking a batch of cookies or chaperoning a field trip but let's be honest. There's a whole lot to do and take care of and you just can't escape. And when I look over my shoulder, no one is standing there offering to handle my to do list. Growing feet and bills are as sure to come as death and taxes.
I paced my floor this morning with my coffee in prayer. Asking God, "How in the world do I take care of so many things?" The only thing that came to me was Jesus' words in John 16. He was talking to His disciples about the near future - He would soon be tried and hung on a cross. This is way more serious than too-small shoes and permission slips. At the end of His message He says, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
This statement has nothing to do with my earthly responsibilities and I even responded in prayer saying, "Lord, what else? I know this verse doesn't fit with my anxiety right now. I need a better verse." While Jesus' words aren't referring to our daily responsibilities they certainly address anxiety and worry. I think the reason why the endless requests, needs, and responsibilities hang around our necks like such a heavy weight is that we wrongly believe everyone's happiness and well being completely depends on us. We have misplaced responsibility. The weight of the world does not rest on our shoulders, it rested on Christ's and He looked at His disciples and said, "I'll take care of it."
My Facebook memories showed me that 9 years ago today I posted, "Hoping to keep my head upon water." I suppose that feeling of drowning and being overwhelmed is not new to me. Sounds like Nicole of 2009 needed to reset and refocus. Sounds like Nicole of today needs to do the same. I just found this blog post sitting in my queue of drafts. I've found myself with a couple of days of free time on my hands and one of the ways I am hoping to refocus is to get some blogs written and write down what the Lord has revealed to me. God has shown me over the years that when I am listening and obedient to write, He blesses me with a fresh spirit and a few minor miracles.
We just got through a couple of months of everything breaking. There I was saying, "I'll take care of it" all over again. Now, I can see He took care of it, down to every last detail and penny and not in the way I would have expected or planned. I don't think anyone expected Him to take care of us with a cross and a perfect, blameless son, either. Perhaps now, instead of "I'll take care of it" we should say, "God's taking care of it."